The time old debate of scrolling versus watching

Anne Berg, Features Editor

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     Let’s talk about all the ways that we college students waste our time on a pretty regular basis. Or should I say, all the opportunities we have to waste our time. There are a lot of them. And a lot more than our parents had back in their day. And we can send all of our thanks to the Internet. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and the slowly dying Facebook. Are there more? Probably. The world today is a dangerous place filled with everything we could possibly imagine that creates time warps in which we scroll for hours at a time, accomplishing absolutely nothing except a loss of self-accomplishment.

     Let’s split this giant list into two groups. Scrolling vs. Watching. Now the scrolling group belongs to all those apps that cause everyone in your vicinity to spend 24/ 7 staring at the screen of their phone. In class, walking to class, at any form of eating-place ever, at the library, and unfortunately in the cars driving past you on the street. I mean it’s really everywhere you look, and everyone. It happens because of boredom, obsession, and inability to communicate with strangers or even semi-acquaintances without feeling super awkward. And it’s all thanks to Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. First of all, it seems to me that all of these different apps could just be combined into one to save space on your phone and to save you the time and energy needed to switch between apps. Just saying, someone should invent that and save us all the trouble.

     And then there is the watching group, which belongs to all of those websites that we somehow miraculously end up on even though we were just diligently doing our homework a few minutes ago. And now we’re in bed under the covers and homework can just wait until tomorrow. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. This is the more dangerous group for me. Sure you can find me scrolling on my phone with the best of them at times, but it’s normally out of sheer boredom and not entirely enjoyable. But movies and TV shows on the other hand, they are my bread and butter. I mean in the past I’ve actually had weekend long movie marathons where I did nothing but watch movies. It was sad and I’m better now, but I can’t deny that it happened.

     Basically, what I’m saying is that there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of ways today that we can waste our much sought-after time. And not a single one of them is productive. Back in the days before technology was such a presence in our lives, people probably went outside. Or talked to each other. Or read a book. All things that are actually quite productive when trying to avoid productivity. And sure, we all still do these things, every once in a while, but all of the time, and more than the time spent on our phones or laptops? I think not.

     The truth is that we are all very busy, or well we should be if we’re doing everything right. Which isn’t always possible but we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We have lots of things on our plate and sometimes the stress of having them just sitting there is worse than the stress of actually having to deal with them. And so sometimes it is simply necessary to de-stress and just relax whether it’s by scrolling or watching. But maybe next time we need to de-stress we can try something new. Go outside and take a nice long walk, or even a short one if you don’t have much time or the weather isn’t that great. Have a conversation with a perfect stranger, or just your best friend. Read a book, or hey the school’s newspaper, which comes out every Thursday! (Shameless plugging).